How do I submit a customs declaration

You can submit an import declaration once the transport company (e.g. Posti) or the warehouse keeper has notified you of the arrival of the goods. The arrival notice contains the arrival ID or the MRN, which you need for the customs declaration.

  1. Submit the customs declaration within the specified time limit. If you have the required details of the goods and all the import requirements are met, it may only take a couple of minutes to declare the goods.
  2. You will receive the goods immediately after customs clearance and payment of the customs invoice. If you have an authorisation for payment deferment granted by Customs, you will receive the goods after customs clearance, but you can pay the customs invoice

Please note that you can in some cases submit a customs declaration before the goods arrive in Finland. Read more about submitting an import declaration in advance

Who submits the customs declaration?

The business (importer) is responsible for declaring the goods. In practice, the customs declaration can be submitted by

  • the importer
  • by a representative authorised by the importer to submit the customs declaration. The representative must present a power of attorney to Customs on request. Read more about acting as a representative.

Provide an EORI number in the customs declaration

The importer, the declarant and the representative must have an EORI number. This applies to a company, an organisation, a municipality or a state with a Business ID. If a Finnish business ID does not have an EORI number, the import declaration will be rejected. A customs declaration of a foreign company will also be rejected if the EORI number has not been entered.

You can check the validity of a company’s EORI number in the Commission’s EORI number validation service. The company should apply for EORI registration in advance before import from the EORI number application service.

The importer, declarant and representative must have an EORI number when they use the following trader nature codes in the customs declaration:

  • ”Y – Company/Finland” if it is a Finnish company
  • ”E – Company/EU” if the company is established in the EU territory
  • ”V – State” when the importer is a state or a state agency
  • “K – Municipality” when the importer is a municipality or a municipal operator
  • ”F – Company/non-EU” if the operator is established outside the EU territory
  • “T – Association/non-profit-making” in the case of a non-profit-making association or operator

Please observe that you can’t enter “R – EORI” as a trader nature code in the customs declaration.

Providing the EORI number is not mandatory e.g. in the following situations:

  • the requested procedure in the customs declaration is “53 – Temporary admission”
  • the trader nature code is “H – Private individual/Finland”, i.e. the importer is a private individual who usually does not need to have an EORI number. The EORI number is not provided in the customs declaration. However, please note that a private person needs an EORI number, for example when importing goods subject to the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).
  • the trader nature code is “D – Diplomatic mission”, i.e. the importer is a diplomatic mission that does not need to have an EORI number. You can use the code “D – Diplomatic mission” as trader nature, only if the imported goods have been granted a “French paper” (additional procedure code 622), or in the case of diplomatic mail or other consignments for use by the mission on the basis of Article 104 of the Duty Relief Regulation (additional procedure codes 3KZ or 3RJ).

A foreign company may have an EORI number acquired from another member state. An operator established outside the EU territory may have acquired an EORI number from another member state or from Finland. Provide the EORI number as trader ID also in these situations, even if the company has a Finnish value added tax identifier, i.e. a VAT number, from the Tax Administration.

Note that if a foreign company has for example an authorisation for a comprehensive guarantee or a payment deferment issued by the Customs Authorisation Centre, you should provide an EORI number as the operator identifier. EORI numbers are used as identifiers for holders of authorisations issued by the Customs Authorisation Centre. Therefore, guarantees for customs declarations are reserved based on EORI numbers.

The VAT number issued to the company by the Tax Administration or another member state is entered in the field “additional fiscal trader”.

Additional fiscal traders

Add an additional fiscal trader e.g. in the following cases:

  • You are lodging a declaration where an importer established outside Finland has acquired a VAT number issued by Finland. Enter under additional fiscal trader the VAT number that the foreign company has received from Finland with the role code “FR1 – Importer”.
  • You use the customs procedure 42 or 63 and the VAT is paid to another Member State, although the customs declaration is lodged in Finland. Enter the VAT number with the role code “FR2 – Customer” and, as the identification number, provide the VAT number issued by the Member State where the transport ends. In addition, if the importer is a foreign company, it must have a VAT number issued by Finland. Enter it with the role code “FR1 – Importer” and provide the VAT number issued by Finland as the identification number.
  • You are lodging a declaration where the VAT is declared by the IOSS registered seller. Enter the identification number of the IOSS registered seller with the role code “FR5 – Vendor (the VAT special scheme (IOSS))” and provide the identification number you received from the seller.

The company may have several trader office codes in Customs’ customer register. These codes facilitate the separation of the customs declarations submitted by the different units operating under the same business ID. If you wish to have the name and contact details of a specific trader office in the Customs decisions, enter in the customs declaration the trader office code issued by Customs in addition to the EORI number. You can check and change your company’s trader office codes in our “My details” service.

  • If the details of your company’s head office is changed in the Finnish Business Information System (BIS), they are also updated in Customs’ customer information system. If the trader office code has not been entered in the declaration, the customs decisions show the name and address details of the head office according to BIS. Please note that the Customs Clearance System checks the details provided in the customs declaration, and uses the information found in Customs’ customer register in the decisions. So remember to update the company’s information that has changed.
  • If you have a current EORI number you applied for from Finland, enter in the declaration the trader office code you received from Customs. The trader office code is a three-digit number (e.g. 000). When you provide the trader office code, don’t enter name and address details.

If the company has a foreign EORI number, the details are checked in the Commission’s EORI number registration system.

If your company has a payment deferment authorisation and several offices

Provide the e-invoicing address in the customs declaration with the additional information code “FIVER – E-invoicing address” and as its identifier the e-invoicing address. If the company has several trader office identifiers for invoicing, remember to enter also the trader office identifier.

If you have a payment deferment authorisation for which the e-invoicing address was not provided with an additional information code in the customs declaration, the e-invoicing address for your periodic filing will automatically be retrieved from Customs’ customer register. If an e-invoicing address has not been entered in Customs’ customer register, Customs mail the periodic filing as a paper invoice 

  • to the address according to the trader office identifier or
  • to the head office address registered in the Finnish Business Information System.

It pays to keep the company’s e-invoicing address and intermediary identifier up-to-date in Customs’ customer register. If the company’s e-invoicing address changes, notify this in the service My Details or via email to the Authorisation Centre. 

Read more about how to change the e-invoicing address on the webpage “Invoicing – Businesses”

Updated 10 January 2024

Different ways to declare goods

  • Submit an import declaration online in the Customs Clearance Service.
  • You can also apply for message declarant status if your business lodges a large number of customs declarations. Message exchange requires investments by the business. 
  • As a rule, businesses are required to submit their import declarations electronically. However, when a traveller returns from a trip carrying commercial goods, they can submit a customs declaration for the goods at the customs office of entry on a SAD form. Read more specific guidance on the page Returning from your business trip with company goods.

In the customs declaration, choose the right customs procedure and the appropriate nature of transaction according to the purpose of use.

The most common customs procedure is release for free circulation.

Don’t forget to apply for identifiers and authorisations

Points to consider

A single import declaration can cover only one means of transport. This means that an individual import declaration can contain details only on a single train car. 

If you declare goods directly from the train car, be sure to provide the train car number as the identifier for the means of transport in a standard import declaration. This information is to be entered under “Arrival transport means”. As for simplified declarations, this information is not included. 

If goods under temporary storage or customs warehousing is imported by rail, and you submit an import declaration for the goods (previous procedure 00 or 71), enter “Train” as the identifier of the means of transport.

A split consignment means that goods specified in one contract are arriving in separate consignments or that goods specified in one transport document are arriving at different times due to technical issues. The goods of split consignments arrive from the same consignor addressed to the same consignee under the same terms of contract.

If the import declarations of split consignments are lodged immediately after arrival without placing the goods under temporary storage or customs warehousing, a separate declaration must be submitted for each consignment. Only goods that have arrived in Finland can be cleared by Customs. 

If you don’t know what goods the consignment that has arrived contains, you can, for a charge, request an examination of the goods.

Split consignments can be included in one declaration if all the goods of the split declaration are placed under temporary storage or customs warehousing and all the information needed can be submitted in the declaration. In addition, the goods must have the same mode of transport. The declaration cannot be submitted as a pre-lodged declaration (D), but must always be lodged in a standard form as a complete declaration, i.e. the additional declaration type A.

Please note when declaring split consignments:

  • Provide all the previous documents relating to the goods you are declaring using their specific document codes. Read more: The previous document must be provided in the import declaration.
  • Provide as the identifier of the means of transport the identifiers of all the means of transport of the split consignments. Separate the identifiers, for example, by a slash (/). A single import declaration can cover as many split consignments as there is room for identifiers of means of transport. The maximum number of allowed characters in the data field is 35. 

The other declaration header details in the customs declaration must be the same for all arrived items:

  • nature of transaction
  • term of delivery
  • mode of transport at the border
  • nationality of means of transport
  • inland mode of transport
  • type of identification of transport
  • country of dispatch
  • country of destination
  • location of goods
  • proposed control location

How to use the SAD form when you are e.g. importing goods for a business as an airline passenger

  1. The SAD form is to be completed by the business.
  • The form can be completed in advance online, and should then be printed on self-copying paper. When you use the SAD form as an import declaration, you do not need to print out the back of the form.
  • You can also buy Customs’ printed forms from PunaMusta’s online store.
  1. Present the paper SAD form to Customs.

Read about the SAD form and about how to complete it.

Fallback procedure

During a service interruption, you can use the SAD form as a fallback procedure document, if you want the goods you have imported to be released for free circulation. Read more about the import fallback procedures.